The fire that hit congested residential communities exposed the challenges in firefighting capability of the fire bureau. So much is lacking in terms of firefighting equipment and the skills of those manning fire stations in many local government units. Apart from the regular firefighters, there appears a need for trained officials in every barangay.

The public thinks that there are enough equipment in every fire station. There too is a need to maintain those fire equipment to ensure that such are functioning in times of fire. Above all, the fire stations must have access to water supply in every locality to ensure that firefighting will not be hampered. In localities where there are no water systems, other sources like water bodies such as streams and rivers must be identified as part of the firefighting plan.

We do not know if government can provide the additional equipment for our local fire stations. Should there be funds for such equipment, it would require enough firefighters to handle such firefighting equipment. That would be additional budget for government to shoulder just to ensure public safety. With the current financial crisis the government is suffering from, there is not much to expect in this regard.

But more than the lack of firefighting equipment, there are inherent problems in the locality that make firefighting tough. Many communities, especially in urban areas, are crowded and the houses congested with narrow alleys serving as access for the ingress and egress of people.

There is apparent lack of proper zoning in such areas to allow good access as houses are built too close to each other. The passage problem is just taken ordinary during normal times but under a state of calamity such as huge fire, the passage becomes a problem for the entrance of firefighters to the burning houses.

The situation was aggravated during summer when the season is dry and windy day. The wind was much a factor in the quick spread of fire. It would be so much for the firefighters fighting the wind as well. Fire is indeed a hazard that government officials could have foreseen to happen in their respective communities so that proper action could be taken to mitigate possible damage.

Government officials should have taken drastic measures to mitigate damage in the event that fire hits the localities. Unfortunately, nothing was done to prevent or even lessen the hazard and the resulting damage. It is lamentable that only when fire accidents occur that government and the people in communities realize the need to prepare for firefighting.
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